the road ahead

The Bible and Pictures
December 17, 2008, 2:08 am
Filed under: business, ministry, spirituality


In 2007 some friends were talking about how to give ancient texts, like the Bible a new read from secular and contemporary people. As they talked they believed that the Bible would be better understood if it were “illuminated,” or I might add, “illustrated.”

The team, led by Dag Soderberg, first published an innovative and unique new Bible version called “The Illuminated Bible: The Book” in two volumes, New Testament and Old Testament, in Sweden during spring and fall of 2007 respectively.

Remarkably, the new Illuminated Bible reached unprecedented sales in Sweden. Illuminated World increased the market for Bibles by almost 50 percent without affecting normal Bible sales.

Does the use of editorially selected images detract or enhance the understanding of the Bible?

When you add images to the text of the Bible, are you adding to the Bible in ways that God never intended?

Does the Bible need to be illuminated?

What are your thoughts?


2 Comments so far
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For the average person vision is the most important sense. Illustrating a Bible or holy text or story can help make it real. Of course, one needs to carefully select the illustration.

My own artwork is created using the letters of original Bible texts for each and every stroke. It is an ongoing illustration of the basic theology of Genesis 1 that is held by all branches and denominations of Christians and Jews. When the Lord speaks the world into existence the letters of those words are the essential stuff that the physical universe is based on.

At Post Conceptual UnGraven Image Art you can see many of these works.

At Art of Seeing The Divine you can read more about how this new art can help you achieve a new way of seeing the world — where you see the essences — more energy, which for a believer are the words of the Lord. This new enhanced vision is life transforming! Obviously it is biblically based, but it turns out that it is also backed by recent scientific theories and discoveries in neuroscience and elementary physics.
At the Art of Seeing The Divine you can also get a free illustrated booklet that includes art and Visual Exercise/Examples so you can achieve easily seeing more of the energies. Both my booklet and e books are illustrated as this has the most impact.
The Bible itself may be said to be filled with conceptual art as it “paints” imagery of scenes and concepts. In Psalms we find some of the best poetic imagery known to man. In fact the verse that is repeated most often in both testaments is one of imagery. I quote it o=in many articles, on my site and when I speak.
Illustrations and art can help us see more. People should have the choice to purchase an illustrated or plain Bible.

Judy Rey

Comment by Judy Rey Wasserman

For the past 21 years I have been making by hand an illuminated manuscript of the Bible. I completed a set of Gospels 2 years ago that contain 585 pages, 283 pages are illuminated, there are 52 cross pages, 37 carpet pages, 87 different forms of calligraphy and the Gospel of Saint Luke contains over 440 inhabited initials. The passion of Christ in John is an interlinear polyglot in Greek, Latin and English using the Complutensian Polyglot (1514-1517) as the source material, which I have found follows the Authorized Version exactly!

Each chapter is written and illustrated in a different calligraphic and illumination style. I had written the entire New Testament in one style and I decided to make a great set of Gospels where each chapter is illustrated to its height. I was determined to make this set of Gospels after my friends were killed in the World Trade Center.
The Gospel of Saint Luke is a Celtic Manuscript with 25 carpet pages, the Gospel of Saint Matthew is mainly English, Norman styles, the Gospel of Saint John is mostly French manuscript styles and Mark is a collection of many different styles and each of these styles are my own styles. All of the work is my own work, the styles are based on historical styles but this is all original work. Basically you have to see this to beleive it.

John Sentamu, the Archbishop of York recently re-endorsed this statement by the previous Archbishop David Hope “It is given to very few to undertake, or even contemplate, a labour of such Herculean proportions. It is given to fewer still to complete it. What you have done represents an achievement which, so far as His Grace is aware, is quite without parallel in modern times.” “It is a powerful witness to the living God.”

My work is made entirely by hand and I do not use computers. the American Bible Society made a film about my bible, so has United Methodist Television, CBS and ABC. The Dallas Morning News has covered this story and my bible was on display at the Biblical Arts Museum in Dallas.

I have a completely separate New Testament which I completed in 1995 and in 1997 I received a bible from the Archbishop of Canterbury George Carey to correct my manuscript. In 2000 I received an email from him after HRH Princes Michael of Kent told him of my bible while they were at a State Banquet at Windsor Castle in honor of the Visiting Queen of Denmark.

My Bible has the blessings of Ian Cundy, Bishop of Peterborough who is also the head of the Liturgical Commission of the Church of England and David Hope says my bible text (KJV) can be used by every church in the Anglican Communion.

I was going to write to NavPress to see if they knew how I could publish this work. I have it scanned and set in Adobe Photoshop files and I received advice on this from the Getty, the Met, and a friend at Industrial Light and Magic. I have it laid out in Adobe InDesign Files and Adobe PDF format and was thinking of an e-book for each Gospel.

Recently I taught on this work in Michigan and organized a Summer Camp to create a handwritten Gospel of Saint Luke in one week. I think this is a great method of getting people involved in bible study.

Yours in Christ

James G. Pepper
Antiquarius Domini

Comment by James G. Pepper

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